Artist Violet Windell dies at 82
Corydon’s eccentric artist Violet Bruner Windell died in her sleep early Sunday morning, July 17, at the home which she shared with her daughter, Lester Ann (June) Windell. She was apparently in good health and had just attended the Morgan Township School Alumni Banquet at Morgan Elementary School a few hours earlier. She was 82.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday) at Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey with burial at Loudon’s Chapel Cemetery in the Moberly neighborhood. Jane Lincoln, a family friend, will give the eulogy.
Windell taught at the old Morgan and North Central schools in the late 1960s and she taught English for one semester at the old Indiana University Southeast campus in Jeffersonville. She also gave private art lessons.
Windell was a tall, familiar figure at the Harrison County Public Library, the Corydon Literary Club, the Spencer Township Homemakers Club, and local art fairs and other community events. She wrote poetry, an autobiography, and worked in oil, watercolor, pen and ink, and ceramics. She was a commercial artist at Stewarts Department Store in Louisville in 1944. She was a tour guide at Squire Boone Caverns for a while and an artist-in-residence at the art gallery there for 12 years, doing paintings and hundreds of sketches on wood.
Over the years, she was also active in The Hoosier Elm Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (she was regent in 1969, and from 1971 to 1973), the Corydon Business and Professional Womens Club, Lincoln Hills Arts and Crafts Association, the American Humanist Association, and the National Museum of Women in Art.
She was also interested in religion and wrote about it. Her daughters, Ann Windell and Norma Lincoln of Ramsey, said she was a founding member of the Louisville Friends Meeting 54 years ago. Ann had planned to take her mother to Wilmington (Ohio) College for the annual Quaker meeting later this month.
The daughters said their mother was eccentric and ‘marched to the beat of a different drummer.’ She was a ‘life-long student’ with interests in many disciplines. Windell earned master’s degrees in education at Indiana University Southeast in 1995 and art at the University of Louisville in 1958. She did her undergraduate work in English, graduating from U of L in 1943.
One of her last projects was a portfolio featuring the work of her brother, Dr. Paul Bruner, who teaches in the art department at Rutgers University.
Windell’s autobiography is on display at a museum in Perryville, in Vermillion County, north of Terre Haute, and many colleges and universities around the state, her daughters said.
A native of Depauw, born Nov. 1, 1922, Windell was the daughter of the late Emory and Belle White Bruner.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Lester Windell.
In addition to her daughters and brother, she is survived by a son, Eugene K. Windell of Jasper; four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.